Ministry’s Al Jourgensen Says Work On The Band’s Final Album Will Commence In June


In a newly published interview with Rolling Stone, industrial metal icon Al Jourgensen opened up on his impending return to the world of his previously disowned first Ministry album “With Sympathy“. That record was infamously overseen by label executives, with Jourgensen having little of the final say in the matter.

Jourgensen also spoke on the upcoming reworkings of songs from that record, Ministry‘s final album, and what the future looks for like for him in a post-Ministry world. Those attending tomorrow’s (May 11th) ‘Cruel World‘ festival in Pasadena, CA will be treated to live performances of material from “With Sympathy” and it’s 1986 follow-up “Twitch“.

However, there will be a twist, as the songs in question have been reworked by Jourgensen‘s band in a heavier fashion. An augmented lineup will be employed to pull off that performance, with Charlie Clouser (ex-Nine Inch Nails) named among the auxiliary musicians tapped for the set.

Jourgensen told the aforementioned publication of this new take on the earlier material, “We turned them into arena-rock songs. People at Cruel World are going to freak out. I feel empowered, and it’s very cathartic for me to finally be able to own these songs instead of run from them. This Cruel World thing is going to be literally a public exorcism.”

Recording sessions for various songs from that debut album have already taken place with mixing and mastering mostly remaining. Next month will also find Jourgensen rejoined in Ministry by Paul Barker for a farewell album and tour. The duo have already begun to bounce ideas off of each other with plans to get together for proper sessions in June. Jourgensen offered of that and how they reconciled their once fractured relationship (Barker exited the band in 2003):

“…We realized it was both of our ex-wives suing each other instead of us. He just moved close to me here. I have a recording studio in my house, so we’re going to start the final album together in June. We’re best buddies now. We should have always been, but literally it was two other people suing each other in our names. It was really bizarre.”

On their new material thus far:

“I just heard some of his ideas. What Ministry is doing now is kind of like arena rock — it’s just much more simple and guttural — where Barker is much more ethereal and it’s more like a Brian Eno–type. So the two styles combined is what makes MinistryMinistry.” What he played me the other day was just extraordinary.”

As for this latest stab at retirement (Ministry previously hung it up in 2008, only to return in 2011,) Jourgensen offered:

“I’m 65 now. I was hoping to retire at 65, but two years of Covid made it so I can’t afford that yet. So I’ll do another couple years, and then that’s it. There’s no point in touring. And touring gets harder as you’re older anyways, and I don’t really want to do the whole casino circuit.”

Outside of hoping to score films and pursue activism in his later years, Jourgensen somewhat ominously added, “I’m not divulging my medical records, so there might be underlying reasons why it’s also time to go. I’ll just put it at that.”

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